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Best supporting role

Posted on Mar 5, 2024 by Katie Kasperson

In the spirit of award season, we’ve picked our winners for best supporting role – a category comprised of grips, stabilisers and remote systems

Words Katie Kasperson

Just like supporting acts, accessories are an oft-overlooked, yet essential part of any production. Tasked with the heavy lifting, these systems support (literally) the cameras and lenses used to capture our favourite films. It’s only right they be recognised. Whether it’s grips, cranes, Steadicams or other stabilisers, we’ve outlined a few key players in the supporting role category.

ARRI 360 EVO

A key player in the motion picture industry, ARRI recently announced the 360 EVO, its latest stabilised remote head. Like the company’s TRINITY 2, the EVO features a 360° rotation on the roll axis, revolving around the lens’ optical centre. It also rotates on the pan axis, opening even more shot options and promising the utmost stability at loads up to 30kg.

The 360 EVO shares the TRINITY 2’s software platform and accessories, allowing TRINITY 2 users to invest in the EVO without doubling on costs. Both products can be controlled by ARRI’s Digital Remote Wheels DRW-1 and Digital Encoder Head DEH-2; sharing the same interface on their touchscreen remote control panels.

Despite their similarities, the 360 EVO builds on ARRI’s SRH-360 system, offering a clear upgrade path for existing users. The EVO supports LBUS connectivity, though plans are in the works for plug-and-play control over the internet, as well as long-term Unreal Engine integration. Shipping for the 360 EVO will commence early this year.

The ARRI group includes a rental division for less commitment-minded operators, providing equipment for global productions. Over the years, the company has secured 19 scientific and technical awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, as well as six Engineering Emmys.

PANAVISION GRIP AND REMOTE SYSTEMS

Panavision Grip and Remote Systems – under the Panavision group’s overall umbrella – offers a ‘comprehensive inventory’ of (you guessed it) camera grip and remote systems, according to the company. Whether it’s cranes, dollies and arms, heads and bases, or grip accessories such as rigs and mounts, Panavision can meet the creative and technical demands of any production, whether big or small.

With facilities in the UK, Europe and South Africa, the subdivision is both global and local, establishing a rapport with the studios in each region. Panavision Grip and Remote Systems offers customer support from pre-production through post, ensuring each project maintains its artistic vision. Plus, the company is dedicated to community relations, empowering storytellers from a diverse variety of backgrounds through funding, film festivals and educational programmes.

Panavision’s collection includes a range of leading manufacturers, like Chapman/Leonard, GFM, JL Fisher, Technocrane and MovieBird, plus its own in-house tools. The products are itemised by category (rigs and mounts, jib arms, telescopic cranes and so on) and split by filter, such as manufacturer, number of head axes, crane length and dolly type. Contact Panavision Grip and Remote Systems now for product availability and other enquiries.

TIFFEN STEADICAM G-70×2 ARM

Known for bringing films such as Rocky and The Shining to life, the Steadicam was originally developed to stabilise handheld shots. Now, with five decades of experience and input from operators, the new Steadicam G-70×2 Arm has arrived. Specially configured for today’s most intuitive camera stabilisation, it offers the latest engineering and component technology.

The G-70 line owes its success to its twist-resistant core design architecture. This combines with carefully selected materials and corrective coatings, all of which add strength, durability and – most importantly – stability. An improvement on the industry-standard G-70x arm, the G-70×2 includes features and functions – like iso-elastic performance and geospring geometry – that greatly enhance reliability, safety and set-up speed.

Able to lift loads between 5.9kg to 31.8kg, the G-70×2 offers a 73.7cm boom range and numerous operating updates. The system includes a dual-bearing mounted arm post with no-tools-needed rotational locking and drag control, translating to quick adjustability even when changing posts. The G-70×2 also includes a pivoting steel socket block, eliminating the flex found in traditional rod ends for more precise sled positioning, enabling faster set-ups and smoother adjustments. From a safety perspective, it also prevents the operator from unintentionally overextending the rod ends.

The G-70×2 sports a sleeker design than its predecessor, with low-profile arm links making it less intrusive to operators. FlySteadicam is also smoother thanks to the low-friction pivot point bearings, updated arm bumper design and more ergonomic, rubber-gripped, easy-turn knobs. Lastly, the popular kick-back link now includes multi-position adjustability, allowing operators to place the arm in the most convenient position – whether front- or back-mounted.

The Steadicam Zephyr Volt is coming later this spring, supporting three-axis stabilisation assist.

This story appears in the March issue of Definition. Read the full magazine here.

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